Chairman of the Board
Frank Sinatra was known by many names such as The Sultan of Swoon, The Voice, and Ol’ Blue Eyes. Choose whichever you like. There were very few entertainers who stood the test of time and are still as popular in their hay day as they are in the current generation. Presley, Sinatra, and Bing Crosby are the select few who are still as popular, if not more so, than they were in their respective times. Time Magazine even considered him the most influential vocalist of the 20th century. The simple upbringing, rise to fame, mafia connections, and his control of the music industry from the 40’s to the early 60’s was staggering considering how his life started and a deeper look into his background, music, and connections will just give you a small glimpse into the life of the Chairman of the Board.
Francis Albert Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. His parents Anthony Sinatra and Natalie Garaventi were immigrants from Italy and moved to a very poor section of Hoboken, where most of the Italian immigrants of this time, which was all they could afford. His father was a hard-working individual who held multiple jobs despite the obvious language barrier and did his best to instill these values into his only child. He preached schooling and making something out of his life and doing better than either he or his mother could ever give him. Frank never did well in school and failed to graduate from high school. He did however manage to nab a job with the local newspaper. However, the job failed to keep his interest and dreams of stardom at bay. He “quit his newspaper job to pursue a career as a singer after attending a Bing Crosby concert (Garvin).” This choice would be his stepping stone to super stardom. The “Hoboken Four (Garvin)” gave him his first taste of the public after winning a contest on the radio and went on tour with the band. He eventually came back home and for the next few years worked multiple different jobs just to make ends meet. At a local bar in town he sang with a group on stage and was unknowingly recorded in what would become his “very first known studio recording of the thousand and more that were to make that skinny young man the most celebrated popular singer in history (Summers and Swan).” Getting back into the music scene, he was picked up by “Harry James (Garvin)” and promptly stolen away by The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing, “Tommy Dorsey (Garvin)”. This opportunity was the start of the influential and dynamic career of Frank Sinatra.
An event filled 2 year career with Tommy Dorsey which raised his notoriety among some socialites in the music industry led to him to start his own solo career. The years of 1942 to 1947 would be his busiest time ever in the music industry. He was the lead singer on a radio broadcast that aired nightly, he signed a record deal with Columbia Records, and was releasing “a new single almost every month (Garvin). He was truly the music industry of the 1940’s. His song “I’ll never smile again” lets you know exactly why he was so popular during the 40’s, he spoke of despair and love being lost and having no hope. America was fully in the throes of WWII, and most people could relate to the disparity of the time. He capitalized on what he was feeling and profited from was going on in the world at the time. He starred in multiple films during the 40’s most of which included mixed reviews and weren’t the successes he had hoped them to be. By the late 1940’s and early 1950’s his once illustrious music career seemed as though it was over. He suffered a “vocal cord hemorrhage (Garvin)” that could have ended his career. He recovered from the injury only to suffer not more physical injuries, but emotional ones. He began an affair with Eva Gardner which led to his divorce from Nancy, his 1st wife and mother of their 3 children. Sinatra and Gardner married soon thereafter but only to have it end in divorce less than 6 years after it had...
Bibliography: "Sinatra, Frank." Contemporary Musicians. Ed. Michael L. LaBlanc. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. 214-217. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.
Garvin, Monica. "Frank Sinatra." Frank Sinatra (2005): 1. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.
Summers, Anthony., and Robbyn Swan. Sinatra: The Life. New York: Knopf, 2005.
When the Rat Pack Reigned. By: Harmon, Melissa Burdick, Biography, 10927891, Jun2003, Vol. 7, Issue 6
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